Birthdays are an important and exciting milestone for children of all ages! Extending the fun to the school day can easily be done while still respecting the routines and rules.
Once you have a birthday party planned, there are many options to make the day special at school too. It is best to pull out the school’s handbook to refresh yourself with birthday procedures or send your child’s teacher a quick email to make sure what you choose to do is supported.
Skip the School Birthday Treat
Yep, I said it, omit the sweets. Just go ahead and do yourself a favor and skip baking gluten-free, peanut-free, sugar-free, vegan, cardboard brownies the night before. Save the teacher the mess of cleaning up all the crumbs and instead send a special lunch. Bonus: wrap each item for them to open like presents and include a sweet birthday message!
Make a Memory
Think about a way that your child and their fellow students will have a memory of the day instead of a little goody bag full of disposable items. Perhaps your child brings in their musical instrument for a mini-performance, they share a game to play at recess, or they bring a T-shirt, tote bag, pillowcase, etc. for everyone to sign as a “birthday card” to take home. Tailor an activity to your child’s talents and interests to make them feel recognized and proud.
Classroom Birthday Donation
A birthday is a great way to provide your child with a philanthropic opportunity. Ideas include a beautiful potted plant, a new book, art supplies for everyone to share, a new game for indoor recess, supplies for a science experiment, and any other supplies that the classroom may be low on.
Show and Tell
Guide your child to choosing something special to share with their classmates. A collection of shells from your last vacation, a cool nature artifact, their favorite book to read to the group, or music to be played for a mini dance party! Skip anything valuable or fragile- there is always a risk the item joins the black hole of lost mittens and snow pants.
As a former teacher, this was always the fan-favorite item! Let your child pick a few of their favorite photos from babyhood to share or bring in a small photo album. Young children especially love to see pictures of babies, and it makes the whole classroom melt into laughter and joy!
Those lucky kiddos with summer birthdays get to have all the fun pool parties, but they often miss out on the pleasure of celebrating at school. I used to recognize the summer birthdays during the last week(s) of school, so everyone got a chance to feel special. Approach your child’s teacher with this idea if they don’t already have something in place.